Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Media Forming New Societies
Today with the over exposure to the media content, mass media’s continuous evolvement and growth has started determining the structures of the society. It has started suppressing the existing norms and beliefs pertaining to the form of societies in a civilization. Thus it has a major role to play in forming new societies all together. There have been various studies conducted already on the same subjects by numerous communicators. The first of its kind was undertaken by Dr. George Gerbner in the United States when he tried analyzing the influence of mass media especially of the audio-visual cinema in structuring the new form of societies. His studies have already proven that television as a medium incites violence in the society. It has given a new meaning to the word violence is understood and replied back in a society. He tried citing the logical by differentiating between ‘Light Viewer’ and ‘Heavy Viewer’. According to Gurbner, Mass media has its major influence in shaping the view point of a heavy viewer which is definitely determined by his over consumption of media. A heavy viewer would always react to a particular situation in an alike manner it is portrayed on the television. For a heavy viewer the society’s idea by so far would be of the same as an ideal structure of society is portrayed on television. Whereas for a Light Viewer, the idea of reality and reel(ity) differs. A light viewer would always consume media for a purpose by restricting his choices to programmes like news, documentaries etc. Thus in the same article there are certain concepts which are important to understand to determine the effect of media on society at large.
Media and Child Psychology is the another concept that is widely considered while discussing the role of mass media as social determinant. There have been numerous studies conducted on measuring the impact of television on children. The easy availability of the mass media and its content and its rapidly increasing access and reach is creating a universal child viewer. This is forming an identical category for all the societies where every child is exposed to the similar type of content through mass media and thus has the similar view points and notions regarding societies existing at all levels. The main interests of the children are guided by the mass media’s entertaining form. Dance, music, acting, glamour, movies, sports, fiction, quiz programmes and reality shows all are the resultant of the increased interest among audience especially children. Due to the limited or rather no access to the niche programmes developed only on for the children, they are exposed the same content as to the regular viewer sometimes also to the type which their psychological constraints makes impossible to filter there by creating false notions or entirely misguided reactions. Such actions on the part of media give emergence to the societal structure which promotes harmful and violent lifestyle. This incites certain non required mental and physical actions. The impact of media on the psychology of the children has a lot to filter out and synthesize before feeding them with any type of content. Thus it should be done with utmost care as it involves playing with the innocent minds which doesn’t hold an ability to analyse the actual ideas behind certain concepts.
Quantity versus Quality concept talks about the ever argued issue whether its good or bad for children to watch excessive television. We as mass media academicians never ask our students to not to watch television. We rather tell them to be updated to the mass media content so I believe its not at all about watching too much television but its more about what is being watched or consumed. So it is very important to analyse the way the content is programmed on television rather television as a medium is a socially integrative medium which shares knowledge and bring societies together. So its not the quantity that effects rather it’s the quality of the content.
Tube Trap concept talks about the way media tries to play with the psyche of viewers due to the easy availability of video entertainment. The presentation of violence through these video programmmes certainly affects the viewers mindset about a society portrayed through those programmes. Due to the rapid increase of cable television, it is highly possible for viewers to fall into the trap which certainly influences individual integrity and social stability. It determines and analyse the idea behind the consumption of mass media by consumers. Ideally for the children and even adults the reason for watching television is the same that they try to escape from their every day problem; as a mean of diversion; for relaxation and companionship; to learn about things or even as a habit. So when a viewer starts relating himself to the characters projected on screen, it certainly effects the value formation of individual for a society